Dundalk Sinn Féin will hold an awareness/solidarity protest at the Market Square in Dundalk on Saturday 17th February at 1pm to highlight the plight of Palestinian child prisoners that are being held in Israeli detention.
Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú said “every year there are approximately 500-700 Palestinian children detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. Some of these children are as young as twelve and the most common charge levied against them is stone throwing and three out of every four children experience physical violence through their arrest, transfer or interrogation. For a child convicted of stone throwing, the potential maximum sentence they face is 10 – 20 years depending on their age.”
Cllr Ó Murchú is asking everyone to attend the protest on Saturday 17th February and show their support for these children.
As of December 2017 there were 350 Palestinian children in detention and interestingly, not one Israeli child has ever come before this military court system.
Cllr Ó Murchú said “among these 350 Palestinian children that are currently being held is a young lady called Ahed Tamimi. Just before Christmas Ahed’s cousin 15 year old Mohammed Tamimi was shot at close range with a plastic bullet fired by an Israeli
soldier. The bullet entered his skull leaving Mohammed in an induced coma and facing a seven hour operation. About an hour later a very brave 16 year old Ahed Tamimi challenged heavily armed Israeli troops that were on her family’s land and slapped one of them. Ahed Tamimi was arrested and is in custody awaiting a military trial. If convicted she faces between 10 – 14 years in an Israeli prison. Ahed turned 17 a couple of weeks ago.”
“We are asking everyone to look at their own children, imagine if that was happening here in Dundalk. Imagine you had no voice to cry out against the injustice of it. Come to the Market Square on Saturday 17th February and show your support for Ahed and all the children that are being held. We need to be their voice.”
Cllr Ó Murchú also called on the Irish Government to “implement the Oireachtas decision taken in 2014 to recognise the State of Palestine and to upgrade the Palestinian Mission in Dublin to that of a full Embassy. If we are to make a meaningful change to what is happening in the Middle East then Governments need to speak up as do the international community.